Telstra signals new media focus

By AdNews | 10 July 2012
Telstra "Today Is Amazing" campaign by DDB Sydney.

Telstra is planning to increase its investment in content assets and to move away from being purely a telco to become a media company, according to Telstra’s media head Rick Ellis.

Speaking at a media conference yesterday, Ellis said Tesltra will be looking to make new content acquisitions and commissioning decisions before the end of the year.

''We are changing the model from a telco model, which is largely one where content and the investment is justified on the basis of the pull-through benefits of market-share shift and churn reduction to actually positioning that business to a profit-and-loss business in its own right,” he said according to reports.

“We are changing to a media company approach where we are focused on viewers, users, audiences."

This signals a big shift for Telstra and for Ellis who joined the company in January as head of the new unit Telstra Digital Media. This unit was created at the end of 2011 and handles Sensis, BigPond, Trading Post, IPTV, Telstra’s 50% stake in Foxtel and the Telstra Advertising Network.

A former chief executive of Television New Zealand, Ellis has already made several major plays since joining the telco, including the revamp of Sensis. In May, Adam Good was appointed as director of digital media and content at Telstra Media.

Ellis said Telstra is not looking to make a bid for a free-to-air television network at the moment, and declined to comment on whether it will bid again for the online rights for the NRL. Telstra currently holds the AFL digital rights and has held the NRL equivalent for several years.

Telstra boss David Thodey said in November the company will invest $100 million over the next four years to upgrade its media infrastructure.

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